The Sufi and the Sinner


There was a man in Amsterdam who was a notable sinner, yet was granted an audience whenever he wanted to speak with shaykh ‘Abd Allah Chishti, as if he was among the Sufi’s inner circle. Hundreds and sometimes thousands of people came to visit the shaykh at one time. Others who were less privileged than this man had to wait days, weeks or even months to see the shaykh.

Some of the murids of the shaykh were irritated by the favour shown to this man and complained among themselves: “Is it possible that our spiritual guide and teacher doesn’t know that this man is a great sinner? If our murshid knew, he would certainly not be so friendly with him!”

When they told the Sufi, he answered apologetically, saying: “I know about him as well as you. But what can I do? I love happiness and hate sadness! And he is such a confirmed sinner that – even though most sinners momentarily regret their act afterwards, which doesn’t stop them, however, from going back to their sinning later – this man doesn’t regret his sins the least bit and he is not sad for even a moment! I find his happiness so appealing that I cannot keep from talking with him!”